Trope-a-Day: Balance Between Good and Evil

Balance Between Good and Evil: Strongly averted in eldraeic theology, the Flamics preferring to espouse the notion that good (i.e., light, the Flame) should cheerfully extirpate evil (darkness, Entropy) from the universe and feel jolly happy about it. Good Needs Evil for contrast, forsooth! The thing about light, you see, is that it comes in many different colors.

Theology and Destiny

No, not that destiny.

This Destiny.

Specifically, the Books of Sorrow, the history of the Hive, which you can read on this page here if you scroll right down to the bottom (OBVIOUS WARNING: HORRIFIC SPOILERS LIE THERE.), and in particular VI, XI, XV, XVII, XIX, XXXII, and XLVII seem highly relevant to Flamic theology.

Or anti-theology, rather.

While officially, at least, Entropy has not personification, or cult, or gospel in the Eldraeverse…

If it did, though…

If it did…

It would sound just exactly like that.

Blood

B“We don’t speak to our gods, and they don’t speak to us.”

“Why? The last time we asked them for something and they heard us, Venirek Sky-Hammer punched our world so hard that everything died. And it’s not that we’re not grateful, but that’s the kind of miracle you only want occasionally. That, and it’s not like they have a lot to say to us, skyhammer and bloodwind and old starry-eyes. We tell their myths to children and what they learn – bein’ kaeth – is that they want to grow up to punch things that hard. That, and to die well enough to get into Mak-Rekken, the afterlife of glorious eternal battle.”

Not what you might call a well-rounded spirituality. For that, we have the Eight Bloody Sages.”

“Not gods. The old ones, lost in myth – except when they’re not. The eight oldest of us, the ones who survived everything Paltraeth could throw at them, each other and the rest of us included. Rage, Greed, Cunning, Clan, Lust, Fire, Death, and Being Too Damn Bull-Headed To Quit, Ever.” The old kaeth smirked. “It sounds better without translation. They don’t have other names. They don’t need other names.”

“And never just the Eight Sages. They’re the Eight Bloody Sages. Because they’re born in blood, and alive through blood, their own and their enemies. Because blood is truth and blood is life and life’s wisdom comes through blood. And because if you don’t listen well enough when they speak, your own blood pooling around the remains of your guts’ll be the last thing you ever see.”

Vol. 6: Mechal Elementals

Among the first known of all nanorobotic machines were the so-called mechal elementals, the maintenance mechanisms of Eliéra. While the common conception of that artificial world is that its ecology is maintained and guided by the computation and matter editation layers buried in its core, this perception is false – these are merely the most prominent elements in a complex system.

These nanorobotics have existed for the entire history of the eldrae on Eliéra, and from long before, having been part of the world since its construction by the Precursors. This is reflected in their names and taxonomy, since long before robots, mechanicals, or even simple clockwork automata were dreamed of, the ancient eldrae knew them as elemental spirits, emanations of Sylithandríël, eikone of the natural world, and Her first six children/souls, the Six Elemental Dragons.

The traditional taxonomy of the mechal elementals reflect this origin, as they are classified under their presumed elemental aspects, including such elementals as the silt spawn and stone mothers, responsible for counteracting the long-term secular erosion of the mountains; the cloud shepherds and smoke sylphs in the air; wave undines and river carvers; soil churners of the fields and the dryads of the forests; the magma krakens that churn the fires below and the flame swallows that govern their release; and the gemlords and ore ants known to generations of miners and tunnel explorers.

In the modern era, of course, we know all of these to be nanomechanical systems, part of the planetary maintenance architecture answering to the central computation layer. That said, since these systems are now overseen by the archai Sylithandríël and Her subroutines, the ancient theological view is now arguably more true than it was at its inception; and, indeed, the archai maintains the validity of the old lore of elemental beckoning, bargaining, and abjuration that the ancient eldrae painstakingly discovered to deal with the alien animating intelligences of “wild” mechal elementals before the Transcend, despite the ability to communicate directly via gnostic link.

Many of the mechal elemental designs have been repurposed for use as ecopoesis tools elsewhere. This volume describes both these, and also those mechal elementals most commonly seen in the wild and in history, along with both the modern and ancient protocols for interacting with and commanding them.

First, we describe the elementals of the Air, the emanations of the Air Dragon…

– Concordance of Robotic Systems and Animating Intelligences, 221st ed.

Not a One-Man Show

Monotheism is quite simply insensible.

Specialization and division of labor.  These things are always competitive advantages.  Everyone who makes it out of the sub-literate hitting-things-with-rocks era invents them.  Hive minds produce purposive castes.  Seed AIs – or just plain extended AIs – multithread broadly, and write specialized routines.  Even singleton minds have enough different tasks to manage that they function as a collection of loosely unified cooperative agents.

And how much more complex is the plenum entire?  So even if you were one god in the first place, why under – or indeed in – heaven would you stay that way?

(In support of the inescapability of this argument, I would adduce the number of monotheisms that feel the need to provide their purportedly singular and totipotent deity with an arbitrarily large number of varied and specialized divine servants.)

– excerpted from a student essay on comparative theology